Easy Appliqued Tote Bag
Finished size is 13 in. tall, 11 1/2 in. wide and 6 in. wide on the side
1 yard of main fabric (I used duck cloth but denim would be nice, too)
1 yard of quilted muslin for lining
Fabric for appliqué
Light weight fusible webbing
Cut the tote body, 18 inches wide by 32 ½ inches long. Use this piece as a pattern to cut the lining fabric.
Cut two pieces of the main fabric for the straps, 2 ½ inches wide x 36 inches long or length desired.
Fold the straps over and stitch down the long seam in a ¼ inch seam.
Turn right side out. I use my 10 inch long hemostat tool I got off ebay for this. There are also special tube turners to do this. You can also attach a large pin to one end and thread the strap through this way.
Press the straps. Topstitch the straps by stitching down both sides and two lines evenly down the middle of the straps.
And optionally, you can press the sides in ¼ inch and then fold the strap over and pin together. Sew the folded seams together. Sew down the other side. Then sew down the middle of the strap.
Trace a 9 inch circle on the paper side of the fusible webbing. A dinner plate makes a good template. But anything 9 inches round will do. Cut the circle out, leaving a small seam allowance around your pencil line.
With your applique fabric wrong side up, place the fusible web over the area you want to use for the applique. You should be able to see enough of an outline of the picture on the fabric to determine where to press the circle over. You could also set this on a light box if you have one.
Press the webbing to the fabric.
Cut the circle out on the pencil line. Remove the paper backing.
Fold the fabric in half with the right side of the fabric to the outside. Center the applique on the fabric, 4 1/2 inches in from the sides and 3 inches down from the top. Press the applique to the fabric using the iron setting recommended by the fusible web maker.
Once the applique is ironed to the fabric you are going to sew around the outside edge. I used a machine blanket stitch but you can use whatever stitch you like.
Now fold the fabric in half again with right sides together. Sew down the sides in a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Now you are going to box the sides. Pull the sides out to form a triangle. The seam will be in the middle.
Measure down 3 inches from the peak. Draw a line across. This will be your stitching line. Sew across this line.
Repeat for the other side of the tote. Some people like to trim this close to the seam line. If you want to do that, cut the excess off 1/2 inch from the seam line. Overcast this seam for strength. I usually leave them alone as I feel it adds body to the bottom of the bag and there is less stress to the seamline.
Turn the tote right side out.
We are going to sew the straps on now. Measure in 4 inches from the sides and pin the strap to the top of the tote. Make sure your strap doesn't get twisted as you bring it up to the other side.
Stitch across the strap ends in a 1/4 inch seam. Repeat for the other side of the tote.
Fold the fabric in half with right sides together. Sew down the sides in a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a 5 inch opening on one side for turning..
Now you are going to box the sides the same way you did for the outer tote, Sew across this line.
Repeat for the other side of the lining.
Place the outer tote inside the lining, right sides will be together. Match up the seam lines and pin together around the top edge.
Stitch all around the top edge in a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Pull the tote out of the side opening. Fold the open seam edges in 1/4 inch and pin. Sew this seam closed by hand or machine.
Place the lining down inside the tote. Smooth the top edge so that it is even and pin. Topstitch along the edge and you are done.
Copyright 2010 - Bette Shaw